Epica is one of the female-fronted bands that managed to stand out from their first release back in 2003. With their own unique and recognizable sound, always with stable quality and consequence in their albums. Their previous album in 2009, “Design Your Universe”, was a pleasant surprise for many fans. The band started to apply a darker and heavier side. The symphonic element was still there but not as much as in their previous albums. It’s always interesting when a band is already well known and the expectations of the fans and the press grow higher from one album to the other; to see how long the band can deliver high-level albums. Epica is surely one of these bands who has done that so far. And now, three years later, the band releases their 5th studio album “Requiem for the Indifferent”. The most important thing about an album is that it sounds unique and interesting from the first second till the last and “Requiem for the Indifferent” is an album just like that. Though this album is very different from all their previous releases, it has much more progressive elements and its much more riff driven.
Musically this album is heavy and has no hits like other albums (except for the single “Storm The Sorrow”). All the songs have strong melodies and always surprise you ‘cause no song finishes like it started. The album begins with a classic two minute intro “Karma”, like in every Epica album. The seven-minute long “Monopoly Of Truth” follows up, with great choir arrangements many riff changes and an amazing solo. Together with “Karma” it makes an epic intro. “Delirium” is the only ballad of the album, with a great melodic vocal line from Simone. “Internal Warfare” and “Deter The Tyrant” are songs with a more theatrical approach and many progressive elements, “Internal Warfare” almost reminds at some points a little bit of Dream Theater. “Avalanche” and “Deep Water Horizon” fool you a little bit; they start smoothly like ballads but change in the middle to heavier songs.
The title-song of the album is a nine minute song with an amazing “oriental” intro, tight rhythm playing, great choir arrangements and amazing changes from heavy to softer parts and vice versa. The album closes with another long song, a ten-minute epic composition, again with great choir arrangements, melodies and tight rhythm playing. The vocals from Simone continue improving but the fans of earlier Epica albums may be a little bit disappointed cause she doesn’t use at all the mezzo-soprano vocal style. The lyrics of the album describe the end of an era; Epica always disagreed with the materialism that characterizes our generation and show us their views once again with the thematology of the album, which is about politics, religion, environmental disasters and the world economy crisis. So in conclusion, “Requiem For The Indifferent” is another amazing album from the Dutch band, where they are stepping forward once again. I can’t say if it’s their best album but it’s sure their most complex album, so don’t be too judgmental from the first listening and give it a chance to grow on you.